Speaking during Questions to the Treasury, the East Antrim MP called for an explanation.
“Attempts yesterday to change customs rules to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom’s Customs Territory would have been a clear breach of the assurances given by the Prime Minister to the people of Northern Ireland.
Such a move would have even contravened Article 4 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Government must explain what it was thinking, when it brought forward these entirely unacceptable proposals.
The direct intervention of the Foreign Secretary to have this matter adjourned was both significant and welcome.
Every day that goes by and the insidious impact of the Protocol becomes apparent, its full consequences evidently go well beyond the written text. The change to our customs status is a clear case and point. Whilst the Protocol states that NI remains part of the UK customs territory, the practical outworking of the Protocol has resulted in HM Treasury removing us for what the Minister described to me today as “technical reasons”.
It is clear the Government did not know what it was signing up to and does not know what further damage the Protocol will do to the integrity of the UK, that is why the only solution is to get rid of the Protocol.
Lessons must be learned from this episode and the Government should now commit their focus and attention to honouring the clear guarantee they made to the people of Northern Ireland, to protect our place within the UK’s Internal Market.”